Washington, D.C. – Thursday, Alaska Congressman Don Young, Congressmen Antonio Delgado (D-NY) and Brian Mast (R-FL), and Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) introduced the bipartisan Fairness for Local Veteran Cemeteries Act — legislation authorizing the VA to issue grants to counties for the establishment, expansion, and improvement of veterans cemeteries.
“America’s veterans have sacrificed so much to ensure that our country can remain safe and free,” said Congressman Don Young. “It is unconscionable that various counties across our great nation have not been able to apply for veterans’ cemetery funding from the Department of Veterans Affairs because of needless regulatory prohibitions. We must act so that America’s veterans have the option of choosing a veterans’ cemetery as their final resting place. Ahead of Veterans Day, I am proud to join Congressmen Antonio Delgado and Brian Mast and Congresswoman Elise Stefanik on this important effort to honor our veterans and their selfless service to our nation.”
The Fairness for Local Veteran Cemeteries Act lifts the statutory prohibition on counties seeking funds to establish, improve, or expand veterans’ cemeteries. Multiple states across the country have only county-operated and not state-operated veterans cemeteries. However, the Veteran Cemetery Grants Program is currently only authorized to issue grants to states, making these counties ineligible for funding. The Fairness for Local Veteran Cemeteries Act bill fixes this problem, allowing counties to apply for veterans cemetery funding provided that the state does not have any state-operated cemeteries established in its jurisdiction.